Snakehead Fish Watch
Types of Animals
Snakehead fish (family Channidae), the air breathing family of fish indigenous to East, Southeast and Central Asia, along with West Central Africa, caused a media stir in the United States in 2002, when some live specimens were found in fresh water habitats along the East Coast.
At issue is the fact that their aggressive behavior means their presence in any fresh water habitat spells potential problems for native fish, amphibian and reptile populations. The fact that more than a handful of Snakehead species are also known for their ability to travel on land, in order to move from one fresh water habitat to another, added to the drama of their discovery.
Since their initial discovery, snakehead fish sightings have been an annual, although not an overwhelming, occurrence in the East Coast, especially in freshwater habitats from Washington D.C. north to New York.
When sighted in enclosed habitats such as small ponds, large scale eradication efforts have been undertaken. When sighted in open habitats such as rivers, effective management has been problematic.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) keeps watch on snakehead fish sightings.
© 2009. Patricia A. Michaels